Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chores with small children...

When I've been talking about chores with the kids I have been categorizing it as something you choose to do because you love your house, love your family and love helping others (See Family Motto).  It's a simple explanation and I think they get it.  They have had chores in their rooms for a while...keep floor clear of toys and clothes, keep closet organized, put away clean clothes into drawers, etc. 

I've been making a big deal about the PRIDE that comes from a clean space with signs and praise.  I have found that what works best for us is to set the timer for 15 min every day when we get home (Fly Lady) and we all three clean up our the end I go on and on about how proud I am of my clean room and they do the same and then I say "Now that we have our rooms clean and our chores done we can have some FUN!"

Lately, I've been enlisting their help in other areas of the house. 

As I mentioned here, most of the time when you expect more of your children, they will exceed your expectations...and I'm finding chores fall into this.

When Justin was in Omaha I asked Jay to start feeding the dog.  I showed him very specifically how to do it the first night...each and every step nice and slow.  The second night he fed the dog as I watched.  Since then he's been feeding the dog each night and he REALLY loves that he's helping and doing a chore that DADDY did.

Well, although Bet has some chores of her own too...she really had a fit..."What AM I going to DO EVERY night when Jay feeds Stonie?!"  Hurriedly, I said, "How about you organize the shoe closet? (We don't wear our shoes upstairs and there is a small closet downstairs where we keep our shoes.)  It is a WRECK!  Every night you can straighten shoes up."  She wasn't really satisfied that this chore was as fun, but she said "Okay." and got to straightening.

So she's been doing that each night.

Last night we got home late from the beach and we all threw our shoes in the shoe closet and apparently there was some sand on the shoes.  This morning, Bet goes to put her shoes on for school and next thing I know she has pulled out most of the shoes in a pile and instructed Jay to get the small dustpan and brush that I keep under the sink.  I peeped in to see what they were up to and she was dusting up the sand and muttering about "what a sandy MESS" the closet was!  She sent Jay to throw the sand away as she put all of the shoes neatly back!

Inside I was CHEERING!  It wasn't time for her to be tending to the closet and I hadn't mentioned a THING about it...

Moral:  Kids LOVE to help.  If you teach them how they can help, they can be a big help!  When you expect more of children, they will EXCEED your expectations.


Johanna V. said...

Great post! Finally read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother this past week. You make a great point as to what one can get out of that book: expect more, get more.

The Talberts said...

Love this post. Can I send Jackson to Brown Camp next summer?